MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said that the Queens owner of two Great Neck auto body repair shops paid $335,000 owed to taxpayers for his failure to remit sales taxes.
Joseph Caraccia, 68, of Whitestone, and his two companies were sentenced today before Nassau County District Court Judge Martin Massell to a conditional discharge and paid restitution of $167,500 to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance – the balance of the amount owed. Caraccia pleaded guilty in January to Petit Larceny (an A misdemeanor) and made the first half of the restitution payment of $167,500. His two Great Neck companies, Auto Bodyworks of 275 East Shore Road and Auto Body Works II of 300 East Shore Road, each pleaded guilty to the top count of Grand Larceny in the 2nd Degree (a C felony).
“By failing to pay his fair share of taxes, this defendant withheld money that could have been used to pay our first responders, to repair roadways, and to maintain our parks,” DA Rice said. “With this sentence, the money he owes taxpayers will finally be going to fund the vital services that all of us depend upon.”
"This case demonstrates the results of state and local law enforcement agencies working together for the people of New York," said Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Thomas H. Mattox. "I commend District Attorney Rice and her team for prosecuting the defendants. Thanks to the effort, several hundred thousand dollars in sales tax debt will be paid and eventually distributed to local governments and New York State for a wide array of public services."
The theft was discovered when a tip was given to District Attorney Rice’s office and referred to the Nassau Criminal Investigations Division of the NYSDTF, which found discrepancies between taxes paid by insurance carriers to Caraccia’s shops and the taxes the shops subsequently failed to remit to the State.
Investigators of the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office executed a search warrant at Caraccia’s 300 East Shore Road shop and recovered books and records pertaining to his businesses, and Caraccia was arrested on Oct. 24, 2012.
DA Rice’s office and NYSDTF conducted an audit and review of records and came to an agreement with the defendants that they collected but failed to remit taxes in amount of $335,000 between 2009 and 2012. The two corporations were charged on Dec. 18, 2013.
Assistant District Attorney Diane Peress, chief of DA Rice’s Economic Crimes Bureau, is prosecuting the case. Caraccia and his companies are represented by Marvin Hirsch, Esq.